Tweetliers – Why Twitter Has Already Changed Marketing

May 19, 2009

Yesterday Will Akerlof posted an article on MediaPost titled “Twits: Why Twitter Won’t Change Marketing” I thought perhaps the title was a bombastic contrarian comment to suck the reader in. I was wrong. Mark feels that in a couple of years we’ll look at Twitter as

another online flash in the pan that the press and digerati got all excited about until they found the next new thing.

 Finally he compares Twitter to a Ponzi Scheme Stating:

One could argue that social networks operate like Ponzi schemes. They require rapid growth to maintain interest and draw more users. There is inevitably a point where growth is limited by the size of the potential audience and the appeal of the service. When growth slows and the shine of newness fades, the network begins to wither and die

deadbird02xHere’s my comment I posted

While twitter may not be the final iteration of the micro-blogging/social media sensation, the power of twitter lies in the “changing of the game”. Those that are participating in Twitter realize that they can leverage, and influence large numbers of like minded people. Ask Gary Vaynerchuk – (350,000+ followers). He owns a wine store in New Jersey, and rates wine on his online Vlog. He has the wine industry shaking, and is leveraging the power of Twitter. This type of influence is hugely impactful for marketers. To say that Twitter may be gone in a few years is possibly true, but that’s not to say that this type of social interaction will be gone along with it. This is word of mouth on steroids. If you look at it as if we were growing in the social sphere along the same line as in Maslow’s hierarchy, we have yet to come to self actualization. Twitter may take us there (obviously currently they are not), but what they are allowing people to do is to become experts, and receive esteem from their peers and to contribute in a community. Your post is well written, and obviously well thought out, but I’d recommend perhaps getting more involved in Twitter before passing judgment. I personally didn’t see the point until I fully immersed myself. Yesterday I found a solution from my followers regarding how to remove a stain from a marble counter, shared images from a car wreck on the Saw Mill Parkway to warn other travelers, and passed on a great vacation deal that lasted only 48 hours. Twitter works…for now. Ponzi schemes offer perceived reward. Twitter has already given back with human interaction and information sharing. Final thought – you should follow me @cdessi

here is Mr. Akerlof’s reply

Christopher: I appreciate the argument that I really just need to know Twitter better before I understand the value. I’ve only been using Twitter for a couple of months. I did go over to @garyvee on Twitter and in the first 3 pages of his tweets, don’t see any about Wine. It’s all random comments and a thread about his book on marketing. I think this proves my point about Twitter being an echo chamber. If the proof of Twitter’s success is that there is a man who has had success selling a book on having success using Twitter. I believe you, but I am not convinced it’s a new marketing paradigm.

I appreciate Mr. Akerlof’s contrarian view, and I commend him for sticking to his guns and offering a thoughtful, and gracious response to my comment.  I still disagree with him.  Again, I’ll state that Twitter may not be the savior here, but what it has done is shine a light on the fact that the game is changing and that marketers must evolve or die.  This instead of saying this isn’t your father’s marketing: it’s more like – this isn’t the marketing you did 2 years ago. The world has changed, Twitter is the Tipping Point.

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“The Internet is the Ultimate Bullshit Meter” Bob Buch Vice President of Business Development at Digg

April 2, 2009

According to Bob Buch, vice president of business development at Digg, baking chocolate chip cookies is the perfect Metaphor for web publishers to better integrate social media.  I don’t really think it’s the best metaphor, but Bob gave away free cookies at the end of his talk, and for that, and that alone I decided to follow him on Twitter @bobbuch , kidding.  However,  I’m not kidding about the metaphor.  So I’m just going to share the hugely useful tips and tricks he offered throughout his dynamic talk instead of working off his suggested Cookie metaphor.  Forgive my poetic license. digg-logo-heart-lg1

SHARING–  Buch started off by saying that the best advice for a publisher with high quality content is “if you love something, set it free”. Just get it out there, people will come back to your site 100 fold.  He went on to describe that a homepage story on Digg that your reader loves  will send from 20,000 to 200,000 clicks.   A big mistake that a lot of publishers make is that they offer too many options to share the publishers content, so Buch advises that “Less is more”  don’t overdo the sharing options.

img_0048INTEGRATION – Not every publisher can be great at everything so Buch advices to integrate using social sites like Facebook. Leverage their platform for profile photos if that’s not your core competency. Using Facebook Connect Digg publishers have seen registration rise 30-100%,  and engagement up 15-80%

Time Magazine’s Digg widget outperforming their own “top story” selection. People seem to be drawn in by other opinions and feel that the title stories for Time may have some bias due to larger font, and placement in the publication.

PEOPLE– Buch advised that publishers hire someone who is familiar with social media and can decipher the following ROFLCopter, LMAO, PWND, Noob.  If you can’t, than apparently you’re a Noop.  I have to confess I didn’t know what a ROFLCopter was until Buch offered.  He likened this type of reaching out to bringing your people in out from the cold. Listen to your community and don’t only communicate about self serving things. Offer insight about what may effect what you write about. The example of a company doing this well is NPR.  Facebook offers the opportunity for NPR to have a “Public Profiles”. NPR has 330,000 fans, and growing because they let reporters upload photos from the field that maybe won’t get published. To the users this feels authentic, and feels “insider” to the group members.  NPR is leveraging what they’re best at.

AUTHENTICITY – Stay true to your core competency.  Figure out what you do best and be true to that.

I particularly enjoyed that Mr. Buch didn’t dismiss publishers, and emphasized that sites like Digg rely on high quality content. Suffice to say I dug what the guy from Digg was talking about.  Couldn’t resist, sorry.

img_0049


Tekzilla Live at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco

April 2, 2009

Veronica Belmont and Patrick Norton treated the crowd at the Web 2.0 conference to a live taping of the super popular Tekzilla show.  Before the taping the two offered some interesting behind the scene tidbits regarding TV (apparently clapping fast and higher up on your body than normal sound better on TV), who knew?

Evan Williams founder of Twitter dropped by, and offered two memorable gems. when Veronica inquired “What advice do you have img_0061for startups” Evan with tongue firmly inserted in his cheek offered the sage advice “Do something awesome.” The answer, however dry recieved a nice chuckle from the audience.

Throughout the show, and while reviewing different product (photo printers etc), the hosts took video questions sent in by viewers and kept track of a lucky attendee’s site redesign in real time by web designers headquartered in New  York. This aspect of the show was a bit of a dud considering by shows end the site was really not very impressive and received the appropriate reaction from the live audience.

All in all it was a great experience, and fun to watch the “behind the scenes” action for the taping. It was impressive to see just how knowledgeable they both are. They’ve certainly done their homework for each product they review, and you can feel that passion in Patrick’s answers. This guys loves what he does, and that’s contagious.images-2


Financial Times Group Launches Newssift.com Beta

March 20, 2009
 

A Unique Search Tool for Business Professionals

 

NEW YORK, March 18 /PRNewswire/ — The Financial Times Group announced today the BETA launch of Newssift.com, a next generation search tool for business professionals. With the ability to search thousands of global business news sources, Newssift offers comprehensive, meaning-based results that contextualize the trends, opinions, and qualitative events that shape business decisions and impact corporate reputations. Newssift is a free-standing entity within the Financial Times Group.

 

As the media landscape continues to evolve, more people are using the Internet as their primary news source. Newssift allows you to look for up-to-date news and analysis online to know before you go, streamlining the process of search and search refinement for business decision makers. Newssift delivers precise and more relevant qualitative business news, moving beyond traditional key word search.

 

“Unlike traditional search, Newssift was developed to enable users to string together a query that can provide insight into the relationship between people, organizations, geography, and business theme, which ultimately facilitates more informed business decisions,” said Robin Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, FT Search, the creators of Newssift.com. “There are only a few search engines that employ relationship-based or semantic algorithms, and to date there is no other that accomplishes refinement using a business point of view.”

 

Much research has shown that many of today’s business users are dissatisfied with current search tools, finding traditional key word search technologies difficult to use and unable to comprehend contextual relationships. Newssift was launched to respond to this void — creating a user-friendly and meaning-based search that easily locates and compares qualitative business news across thousands of reputable sources. Each day, thousands of news sources are aggregated and annotated to ensure the most relevant and deep analysis of current global business news. Newssift then searches data based on meaning and relationships, cutting out the commercial clutter found in traditional key word search.

 

“Today, we’re introducing a resource for business that offers capabilities not available on any other search site,” saidJohn Greenleaf, Chief Marketing Officer of FT Search. “Newssift thinks the way business people think and interacts directly with the user, offering results that are meaningful, relevant and ultimately pertinent to important metrics like stock price valuation and corporate reputation.”

 

Similar to the way one would search and compare merchandise on retail websites, Newssift ultimately analyzes the relationship between people, organizations, geographies, and business themes. An example that highlights the Newssift.com difference and demonstrates how the tool works is that while traditional search results can help you to find a local florist in Florida for your mother’s birthday, Newssift can enable you to analyze the state of the floral industry in Florida.

 

 

About Newssift

Newssift is a unique search tool for business professionals indexing millions of articles from thousands of global news sources. A next generation vertical search tool, Newssift.com searches are based on meaning, topic relationships and business themes, moving beyond traditional keyword search towards refinement. Newssift was created by FT Search Inc., an independent entity within the Financial Times Group.

 

    Media Contact
    Amy Grabowski
    203.564.1501 / Amy.Grabowski@newssift.com

    Danielle DeVoren
    212.445.8188 / ddevoren@webershandwick.com


MIVA, Inc. Completes All-Cash Asset Sale of MIVA Media Business to Adknowledge

March 12, 2009

MIVA, Inc. Focuses on ALOT Search-Related Products; Streamlines Ongoing Operations; Defines 2009 Strategy Thursday March 12, 2009, 1:54 pm EDT Buzz up! Print Related: MIVA Inc. NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MIVA, Inc. (NASDAQ:MIVA – News) today announced the completion of the sale of assets relating to its MIVA Media operations to advertising network, Adknowledge, for cash consideration of approximately $11.6 million, plus assumption of certain balance sheet liabilities, and subject to certain retained assets and liabilities and post-closing adjustments. Related Quotes Symbol Price Change MIVA 0.23 +0.09 The transaction further streamlines MIVA, Inc.’s operations and accelerates the company’s strategy of developing and expanding its high margin, consumer-oriented toolbar, homepage and desktop search-related products. As a result of the transaction, MIVA, Inc. has reduced total headcount from 129 on December 31 2008 to approximately 50, which includes the transfer of approximately 75 MIVA Media and certain corporate staff to Adknowledge. MIVA, Inc.’s remaining employees will work predominantly out of the company’s New York offices, with a small number remaining in Fort Myers, Florida. MIVA, Inc. intends to use the proceeds from the sale of the MIVA Media business to focus on the expansion of its ALOT product portfolio. Peter Corrao, MIVA, Inc.’s President and CEO, commented: “We believe that consolidation is required in the Pay-Per-Click sector and that Adknowledge is extremely well positioned to take advantage of MIVA Media’s assets.” “MIVA, Inc.’s ongoing strategy is to focus on developing and expanding our ALOT products and monetizing the high value type-in search they deliver. The transaction delivers increased capital and, importantly, will enable us to focus our technology, business development and product marketing teams on the growth and expansion of our ALOT brand.” MIVA, Inc.’s common stock continues to trade on the NASDAQ under the trading symbol ‘MIVA’. MIVA, Inc. intends to change its name and ticker symbol in the near future. The investment bank Petsky Prunier LLC acted as financial advisors and Baker & McKenzie LLP and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP acted as legal advisors to MIVA, Inc. in connection with the sale of the MIVA Media business. http://www.alot.com http://www.mivainc.com About MIVA, Inc. MIVA, Inc. (NASDAQ:MIVA – News) is an Internet company that owns and operates the ALOT product portfolio. ALOT’s products are designed to ‘Make the Internet Easy’ by enhancing the way consumers engage with content online. The company’s millions of active users utilize ALOT to discover ‘best-of-the-web’ third party content, display that content through customizable toolbar, homepage and desktop products and deliver high value search traffic to MIVA, Inc for in-house and third-party monetization. Forward-looking Statements This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that are based upon current expectations and involve certain risks and uncertainties within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words or expressions such as “anticipate”, “plan,” “will,” “intend,” “believe” or “expect'” or variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors, some of which are beyond our control and difficult to predict and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements, including (1) our planned use of proceeds, (2) our ability to successfully execute upon our corporate strategies, including our plans for the MIVA Direct business and the ALOT products, (3) our ability to develop and successfully market new products and services, and (4) the potential acceptance of new products in the market. Additional key risks are described in MIVA’s reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Form 10-K for fiscal 2007 and our most recently filed Form 10-Q. Contact: MIVA, Inc. Peter Corrao, 239-561-7229 President and CEO


Why Skittles Rule

March 3, 2009

This morning while reading the Journal there was a huge story covering Skittles.  Apparently they have some super savvy people working over there at Mars Snackfood because the team has leveraged the heck out of social media, and they’re reaping the rewards – Skittle style.  When asked for a quote regarding the brand, their Agency Strategist offered one of the most delightful fun descriptions of a brand I’ve ever heard:unicorn

Ben Weisman, a strategist at Iris-New York, said the move paints Skittles as a “daring, out-of-the-box, unicorn-riding, candy-loving, fantasy-meets-reality, rainbow-tasting” brand.

I wish the world had more brands with “Unicorn-riding” in the description.

Mission accomplished Iris.


MIVA DIRECT ADDS LIVE COMMUNITY FEATURES TO ALOT FOLLOWING SIGNING OF MEEBO AGREEMENT

February 19, 2009

NEW YORK – February 19, 2009. MIVA Direct, Inc., the toolbar, homepage and content division of digital media and advertising company, MIVA, Inc. (NASDAQ:MIVA), today announced the roll out of live community features across its ALOT Toolbar and Homepage products following the signing of a new agreement with Meebo, one of the Web’s fastest growing social media companies.

Under the terms of the agreement, MIVA Direct is using Meebo’s technology to facilitate real-time social interactions between users via chat rooms that are promoted across ALOT Toolbar and ALOT Home. Meebo is serving social ads into the technology and MIVA Direct will earn a share of the revenue generated from these ad units.

In addition to the expected revenue it will generate, the functionality is also designed to extend ALOT’s mission of ‘Making the Internet Easy’ by delivering further value to the brand’s existing vertical audiences. Chris Dessi, MIVA Direct’s VP of Sales and Business Development, explains:

“Since launching ALOT we’ve been building up users across a broad range of different verticals – our ALOT Toolbar for Recipes, for example, currently has over 335,000 live users[1]. We believe there are significant potential benefits in offering vertically focused chat rooms that enable these like-minded users to communicate directly with each other, and believe that Meebo is a great application to help us kick-start this process.”

Added Stephanie Quay, Meebo’s Director of Business Development: “The scale and vertical focus of ALOT’s customer base makes them a great fit for Meebo. We look forward to working with them to roll out and monetize our solution.”

http://www.alot.com

http://www.miva.com

http://www.meebo.com

-ends-

About MIVA®, Inc.

MIVA, Inc. (NASDAQ:MIVA) is a global digital media company with a mission to deliver valuable digital audiences to advertisers. MIVA has two focuses to its business: owning and operating toolbar, homepage and desktop products, through its MIVA Direct division; and running a third-party contextual Pay-Per-Click ad network through its MIVA Media division. MIVA, Inc. operates across North America and Europe.

About Meebo, Inc.

With over 40 million people sharing over 5 billion messages and 75 million links every month, Meebo is one of the Web’s fastest growing social media companies. Founded in September 2005, Meebo enables real-time social interactions with instant messaging and group chat at meebo.com and on partner sites across the Web. Meebo is headquartered in Mountain View, CA. Visit meebo.com to connect with friends live on the Web.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that are based upon current expectations and involve certain risks and uncertainties within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words or expressions such as “anticipate” , “plan,” “will,” “intend,” “believe” or “expect'” or variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors, some of which are beyond our control and difficult to predict and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements, including (1) our ability to successfully execute upon our corporate strategies, (2) our ability to develop and successfully market new products and services, and (3) the potential acceptance of new products in the market. Additional key risks are described in MIVA’s reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Form 10-K for fiscal 2007 and our most recently filed Form 10-Q.

®Registered trademark

MIVA Contact:

Alex Vlasto

(212) 736-9151

Alex.Vlasto@miva.com


[1] Source: Internal statistics: 2/8/09